URA reveals thresholds for 'demand-led' projects

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2011, 12:00am


Owners of flats in dilapidated buildings will be able to seek support for their redevelopment by the Urban Renewal Authority, as long as 67 per cent of them agree to do so.

But 80 per cent of a building's owners will have to agree before an offer by the URA can be accepted, the authority said yesterday. The URA also said applications under its new demand-led plan for replacing old structures would be judged on the condition of the buildings and the potential impact of a scheme on the local area, rather than profitability.

'Whether the redevelopment project is profitable ... or not is not a top priority,' chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen said.

Buildings with floor area of more than 400 square metres and in 'poor condition' will be considered for redevelopment with two-thirds support from owners, if the site is not of historical significance.

Applications taken up by the URA will be put into the authority's yearly business plan for approval by the Financial Secretary before a conditional offer is made. Owners then have 60 days to agree. Approved projects will be included in the business plan for the following year.

Kowloon City district councillor Yum Kwok-tung said the process would take too long 'considering the volatility of the housing market'.

Chan Hoi-kin, spokesman for a concern group for the run-down and crowded area in To Kwa Wan known as 'Thirteen Streets', said the scheme was not appealing.

'We still need 80 per cent to get redevelopment ... It's hard to get such approval for a crowded area,' Chan said. Private developers who own 80 per cent of a building can apply for a forced sale of the remainder.

The authority will accept applications in July for a pilot scheme.